On April 20 a Minnesota jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd. The jury system worked, this time. Chauvin was convicted on all three charges — second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter — for killing George Floyd after kneeling on his neck for 9 minutes on May 25, 2020. Chauvin’s murder of Floyd kicked off months of protests and a much needed national reckoning of this country’s history of racism.
• April 19 was the date that all adults nationwide became eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination. Go get one. Unfortunately, no one on Eugene Weekly’s staff has experienced improved cell reception due to the 5G chip that apparently comes free with the inoculation but we are contributing to herd immunity. In addition to getting yourself one, reach out to people who may have trouble accessing a vaccine clinic or online sign up and help them get one, too. Staffers have received the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, and experienced only minor side effects.
• The Vaux’s swifts are back doing their dive into the Agate Hall chimney during their annual migration from Mexico to Canada, and it is quite a thrill to see them. Go to the Agate Hall (old Condon school) parking lot with your chair at about 8 pm any night for the next month. First you hear their twitter, then you see the little (four and a half-inch) insect-eating birds circle and finally you see them drop into the chimney to keep warm for the night. They come out the next morning at about 8 o’clock to fly away. The chimney has been designated an ecologically important roosting site for the swifts, especially important because it is the second largest roost site in Oregon. Lane Audubon members were on hand to explain this great show. They told us that during the fall migration, more than 12,000 birds can roost in the chimney in just one night. Check out VauxHappening.org for more information.
• You still have time to buy art. Bidding was up to $500 as of press time at the online auction for Eugene Weekly’s first-ever NFT art work, a collectible digital copy of our April 8 cover, by staff artist Chelsea Lovejoy. NFTs — the acronym stands for “non-fungible token” — are unique and non-copyable digital files based on blockchain technology. NFT art has gone for astronomical prices at art auctions in recent months, and The New York Times collected $560,000 for charity in March by auctioning one of its stories. All proceeds from the EW auction will go to support our newsgathering. To bid, go to EugeneWeekly.com/NFT; the auction ends at 5 pm Pacific time Friday, April 23.
• On April 23, three speakers will discuss how the Oregon Legislature tackles equity in policing for the virtual City Club of Eugene meeting. They are: Michael Hames-García, a University of Oregon professor who moves to University of Texas at Austin this fall; Sean Shivers, Eugene Police Commission chair; and Rep. Marty Wilde, committee member for the House Equity in Policing committee. This program will air on the City Club Facebook and YouTube pages starting Friday at noon. Shivers can be contacted at OregonSeanShivers@gmail.com by folks with concerns about policing in Eugene.